Sir John previously served as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2007 to 2011. He is currently Chairman of Cobseo, which represents the Service Charities Sector. Membership is open to Charities who promote and further the welfare and general interests of the Armed Forces Community.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL DICK APPLEGATE
Dick Applegate is a pragmatic, decisive and trusted strategic leader, main board executive and mentor to a wide variety of international companies. He is highly experienced in the defence, aerospace, logistics and security industry sectors.
Previously, in a successful military career, he exercised combat command in the most confused of conditions, crisis management and policy formulation at the very highest international political levels and was accountable for equipment and logistic support of UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to his UK awards, he is an Honorary French Foreign Legionnaire following combat command in Sarajevo in 1995, holder of the US Legion of Merit and a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute.
Director of Recruitment and Marketing, Warwick Business School
Karen Barker is currently leading a newly integrated student recruitment and marketing team at Warwick Business School. She has a real passion for recruitment, coaching and leadership development and has expertise in helping high achieving MBA talent achieve career aspirations, transitions and professional development goals.
Head of Level39 and Heropreneurs Ambassador
Former Royal Marines Commando Ben Brabyn worked as an analyst for JP Morgan after leaving the military. He then launched the world’s first crowdfunding business, Bmycharity, which enabled 800,000 donors to deliver over £50 million to UK charities.
He worked for the UK government as COO of UK Trade and Investment’s Venture Capital Unit, establishing relationships between global investors and a wide range of UK entrepreneurial businesses. He now runs Level39, a community of over 200 fintech, cybersecurity and other technology companies in Canary Wharf.
REAR ADMIRAL ALEX BURTON
Chief Executive Officer, eWaterPay
Alex has had a career delivering international programmes and improved operational performance and is a champion of organisational change initiatives. He operates at the interface between technology and people, immersed in the critical issues associated with delivery and change. He left the Royal Navy in late ‘17 and joined the award-winning UK tech company eWATERPay as the CEO.
Enterprise Editor, The Telegraph – Small Business Connect
Matthew Caines is enterprise editor of the Daily Telegraph and looks after its Small Business Connect section, which offers news, insight and inspiration for the paper’s readers who are entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized business owners.
He previously worked for The Guardian, covering arts, culture and the creative industries, prior to which he co-founded WannabeHack.co.uk, an online community and resource for aspiring journalists.
MAJOR GENERAL TOM COPINGER-SYMES
GOC Force Troops Command/Trustee Heropreneurs
Major General Tom Copinger-Symes was commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets. He undertook regimental duty on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, including command of 5 RIFLES BG on Op HERRICK 15. His staff appointments have covered the spectrum of enduring campaigns, contingent operations, defence engagement, military capacity building, UK resilience, counter terrorism, and defence planning and strategy.
He led the Information Manoeuvre Project Team, which looked to improve the integration of the Army’s information-centric and digital capabilities. In Dec 17, he became GOC Force Troops Command, which oversees those capabilities, as well as the bulk of the Army’s specialist capabilities. In Aug 19 he will take up his role as Director Capability at Army HQ.
Adam Coxen was a Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers from 1992-7. On leaving he founded and successfully sold two of his own companies and now helps others do the same, as an Investor Chairman. He has recently achieved exits in two software and one telecoms business, generating strong returns for shareholders. Adam was runner-up Sunday Times Non-Executive Director of the Year in 2014 and 2016 in the SME/Private Equity category.
Director, Defence Relationship Management (DRM)
From 1 April: Deputy Director, National Leadership Centre at the Cabinet Office.
Stephen led the Defence Relationship Management (DRM) organisation, which is the link between the MOD and industry on People issues. Developing and maintaining strategic relationships with organisations throughout the UK, DRM encourages and enables the employment of all military personnel past and present. It also facilitates partnerships delivering military/civilian cooperation around shared skills gaps, like the STEM agenda and cyber security. The London HQ’s staff directly manage relationships with national employers; it also has a network of UK regional Employer Engagement staff.
DRM delivers a range of national prestigious events such as the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award ceremony attracting both Royal Family and senior politician support.
Non-Executive Director in the AYR Aviation Group
James is a Chartered Accountant who ran his own accountancy firm for over forty years, mainly working with entrepreneurs. He has spent the last ten years specialising in coaching and mentoring business owners to help them achieve their aspirations. He is a Non-Executive Director in the AYR Aviation Group of companies that deliver humanitarian aid and new buildings, hospitals and schools to disaster areas particularly in Africa to alleviate suffering from famine, flooding, Ebola and similar troubles often caused by military action.
Ronnie Green’s military career in the infantry preceded a career in real estate specialising in commercial investments and developments. While setting up his own business advising on development opportunities, he also established a series of Business Expansion Schemes sponsored by a major bank as a government initiative. His residential management business was floated on the London Stock Exchange. He finally became Managing Director of a number of subsidiaries within Countrywide group. He is skilled in leadership, time management, and a vision of the bigger picture.
Interim Head – Service Personnel Support
James read History & Politics at the University of Sheffield joining the Civil Service in 2003. He covered a range of policy, project & programme management and analytical roles within the MoD and HM Treasury. These included: NATO and EU Defence relationships; change management within the Helicopters Directorate; Royal Navy procuring training systems and scrutiny of £100M+ major projects.
He became a senior Middle East analyst in the Cabinet Office Assessment Staff then re-joined Defence as the Armed Forces Covenant Team leader. He was promoted to the Head of Service Personnel Support on an interim basis in 2018.
James also served as Reservist officer with the Royal Signals for ten years.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL SIR ANDREW GREGORY KBE CB
Controller, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity
Andrew retired from the British Army in April 2016 after 35 years’ service, most recently as Chief of Defence People in the Ministry of Defence. He was proud to be appointed Controller (Chief Executive) of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity later that year, an organisation which alleviates suffering and distress among serving members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, veterans and their families in order to create independence and dignity.
LT COL (RETD) STEWART HILL
Inspirational Speaker, Artist, Actor, Poet
Stewart Hill suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) whilst commanding B Company, 2 Mercian in Afghanistan in 2009, when shrapnel exploded into his brain. He began painting as a form of rehabilitation after his injury. He has won several prestigious prizes for his work as an artist but also uses his experiences as a motivational speaker where he successfully gives hope, comfort and inspiration to himself and others
Entrepreneur, Founder Moonpig.com
After reading Russian at University Nick spent eight years as a commodity trader in Moscow before returning to the UK to study for an MBA at Cranfield University. Immediately after graduating Nick set up the online greeting card business Moonpig.com which by 2011 had over four million customers worldwide.
Since 2008 Nick has been actively investing in other start-up businesses, mostly in the educational technology and internet retail space, as well as being one of the Dragons on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2015-16. From 2012 until 2016 Nick sat on the investment committee of Impact Ventures UK, an investment fund which invests in social enterprises using innovation to find better solutions to social issues in the UK.
BRUCE ‘ED’ JESSON
Founder, CEO, and Chairman, OBXtek Inc.
Retiring as an USA Army Lieutenant Colonel, out of the Pentagon, Ed started building computer mother boards before progressing into Information Technology services. He is founder, CEO, and Chairman of OBXtek Inc. a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business. It is now the 11th fastest growing company in the US in all industrial categories, and the fastest growing in the Veteran Owned category. Ed is also an owner and Chairman of Nine23, a UK veteran owned mobility technology firm.
Founder, Enterprise Nation
Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation a company that supports people to start and grow their own business. For a community of over 70,000 businesses, Enterprise Nation delivers online support, physical events and a campaigning voice to government. Emma was also one of the co-founders of national enterprise campaign, StartUp Britain, which she ran from 2011 to 2014, and is SME Crown Representative, working with government to focus on the target of spending £1 in every £3 of central government spend with SMEs by 2022.
Chairman, Heropreneurs and The Veterans’ Foundation
Peter Mountford is the Chairman of Heropreneurs and also the Founder of the Heropreneurs Awards. He is also the Chairman of the Veterans’ Foundation, a national charity that raises funds for mainly smaller, but effective, military charities that help veterans in need through the Veterans’ Lottery.
During his career as an entrepreneur, Peter has been an investor in, and sat on the Board, of 25 businesses and has floated 3 of the most successful companies ever floated on Aim.
NICKY MURDOCH MBE
Chair NHS England Armed Forces Public Patient Participation Involvement Group
Nicky Murdoch’s Army career saw her specialising in the arena of HR. She was seconded on her final tour to a youth education charity, SkillForce, where she was responsible for a recovery and rehabilitation programme for the Wounded, Injured and Sick of the services assisting with their recovery and their transition to civilian life.
On leaving the Army she was CEO of the Defence Medical Welfare Service for 7 years. DMWS is a charity providing practical and emotional support to military personnel and their families while under hospital care.
Her current role as Chair of NHS England Armed Forces Public Patient Participation Involvement Group is to provide advice on the specialist needs of the Armed Forces Community when in the NHS System.
Founder, TIME:Reboot VCT
Stuart Nicol has been assisting Heropreneurs since 2011. He does so with experience of six years in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, four years in the Reserves (OTC, 7/8 ASH & London Scottish) academic adventures at Loughborough University and London Business School. He has over 20 years’ experience of investing in over 50 high growth UK firms.
Stuart loves investing in small companies and doing his best to help them grow; he also gets a kick and inspiration from mentoring entrepreneurs. He currently runs the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund & runs his own business coaching high growth firms. He’s especially interested in profit with purpose firms.
MAJOR GENERAL ANDREW PRINGLE CB CBE
Consultant, Mentor and Advisor
Andrew Pringle retired from the Army in 2001 as a Major General. He ran a defence consultancy for 6 years before joining KBR in 2008 to lead the Government and Defence business in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In 2014 he became President of KBR’s global Government Services business consisting of three divisions; Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific (APAC). He retired from KBR in 2017.
Founder Orchard Pig Cider
Andrew appreciates that eight years in the Royal Marines contributed strongly to the success of Orchard Pig.
Civilian life started at Pedigree Petfoods and Bacardi, where learnt the power of brands. Andrew worked in dentistry (with his Royal Naval dentist wife) s a business consultant for 10 years. He then bought a smallholding in Somerset, so he could keep pigs – the land came with 247 cider apple trees so, the family had a go at making cider…
By 2007, Orchard Pig was born and the dental practice sold as a successful going concern. In 2017 he exited the cider business selling to Magners. He says, “Go for it – follow your heart but steer with your head.” He joined the Royal Marines because his Mum told him to…
CEO, Black Isle Group
Tim Richardson served in the Royal Artillery for 12 years before founding Black Isle Group in London in 2000.
Tim has coached and mentored at CEO/Board level for many of the world’s best known financial services firms and led the design and delivery of executive leadership and talent programmes all over the world. His company, Black Isle Group, has grown into one of the most highly respected Leadership Consulting firms in London.
Tim now focuses on building strategic partnerships and supporting the Black Isle Group (BIG) Foundation, which funds educational projects in Kenya. He is married with two daughters and lives in Horsham, West Sussex. He is a keen golfer, walker and England rugby supporter.
Business editor, entrepreneur and creative consultant
Stuart is a multiple award-winning business editor and event host with more than 30 years of experience in the enterprise economy. He is a co-founder of World Class Britain, which promotes evidence-based, positive journalism about excellence in Britain. He writes and blogs regularly about growing businesses and their environment for institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, the ScaleUp Institute, the Chartered Management Institute and Innovate UK.
MAJOR GENERAL DAVID SHAW, CBE
CEO, Veterans’ Foundation
David Shaw concluded his military career as the Major General commanding 2nd Division and Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 2012. He is co-founder of the award-winning veterans’ charity AF&V Launchpad that looks after veterans, mostly from homelessness, in Newcastle and Liverpool. He also has business activities to do with wellbeing and leadership.
He is founder of the Veterans’ Foundation and co-founder of the Veterans’ Lottery.
Director, Centre for Entrepreneurs
Matt is co-founder & director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, and co-founder and board member of the European Startup Network. Previously, Matt co-founded NACUE – the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs.
COLONEL (RETD) STUART TOOTAL DSO OBE
Partner at Matero Consulting and Former MD and global security at Barclays and
Founder of the Barclays Armed Forces Transition Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) Programme and VETS
Stuart Tootal’s 20-year British Army career (colonel) included operational service in Northern Ireland, the 1991 Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and commanding 3 PARA in Afghanistan.
Barclays AFTER Veterans’ employment programme, assisted over 5,000 veterans in employment transition and has hired over 600 ex-military into Barclays. The programme has also provided over £4M to its military charity partners. VETS helps other companies hire ex-military and has helped 1,600 veterans land jobs with VETS partner firms.
Stuart joined Matero in July 2019 as one of the founding partners. Matero, provides business transformation and complex change consultancy services in the Financial Serves and is a veterans employing company.
IQBAL WAHHAB OBE
Entrepreneur and restaurateur
Iqbal Wahhab came to Britain from Bangladesh at eight months old. Educated in London he is an LSE graduate. He started as a national press journalist then set up his own specialist food, drink and restaurant PR firm before launching Tandoori Magazine.
He sold the magazine to launch the multi award-winning Cinnamon Club – changing the way we view Indian dining. He co-authored The Cinnamon Club Cookbook and in 2005 opened Roast. In 2018 he left Roast to focus on other projects.
Iqbal is about to become High Sheriff of Greater London and is a huge believer in the skills of veterans in business.
Chief Executive Officer, Aggreko Plc
Chris Weston joined Aggreko on 1 January 2015 as Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to his appointment, Chris was Managing Director, International Downstream at Centrica plc, where he was the Executive Director responsible for the Group’s largest division. In this role Chris was operationally responsible for both British Gas in the UK and Direct Energy in the USA. He joined Centrica in 2001 after a successful career in the telecoms industry, working for both Cable & Wireless and One.Tel. Before that, Chris served in the Royal Artillery. He has a BSc in Applied Science, as well as an MBA and PhD from Imperial College London.
Chris joined the Board of the Royal Navy as a Non-Executive Director on 1 January 2017.